Bembry returns, gives Hawks a lift

MILWAUKEE -- The stat line wasn't overly impressive, but DeAndre' Bembry made a good impression Tuesday night as he returned to action for the first time since Dec. 22. 

The Hawks' first-round selection in the 2016 draft, Bembry was plagued by a wrist injury early in the season and after struggling in 15 games after his return, was assigned to Atlanta's G-league affiliate where he first injured his groin. 

But he returned Tuesday night and played 12 minutes, scoring two points while grabbing three rebounds in the Hawks' 97-92 loss at Milwaukee. He played five of those minutes in the fourth quarter as Atlanta mounted a comeback attempt late after being held to just eight points in the third. 

He and second-year point guard Isaiah Taylor played big roles in the Hawks' rally, especially on the defensive end where they finished with plus-minus ratings of plus-five and plus-10, respectively.

"(Taylor) did a lot of things well," Budenholzer said. "Getting DeAndre’ back and playing for the first time in a while is great. The young guys have been finding opportunities to help us and it's been great."

Veteran guard Kent Bazemore sank a pair of 3-pointers and scored seven of his 17 points in the quarter while Ersan Ilyasova added nine for the Hawks, who made 11-of-23 shots in the fourth after connecting at a 34 percent clip through the first three.
And while the result is another loss in the standings, Bazemore was able to see the positive in Atlanta's late effort, even if it fell short.

"You just have to keep pushing," Bazemore said. "Been our identity all season. We don't lay down, we keep fighting and we try to give ourselves a chance. We came up a little short tonight ... but you have to give (the young guys) credit.

"Despite our record, guys are showing up every day, they're going hard and laying it all on the line every night. DeAndre’ had a great play to end the first quarter, diving on the floor. Just little stuff like that, you won't see on a lot of teams. Our future looks bright and I love playing with these guys."

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